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2011: Response from the Hills

This report is an update on SAC's 2008 Retreat from the Hills report which highlighted significant declines in the sheep and cattle sector across much of Scotland. This is particularly the case in the hills, islands and uplands where alternatives to extensive beef and sheep farming systems are very limited.

This report examines if there has been a response from the hills in recent years as financial returns to beef and sheep have improved and with the completion of the farm level restructuring that occurred immediately following the decoupling of CAP support. The report is published as debates continue over the recently announced EU Commission proposals for the post-2013 CAP, and follows the Pack Inquiry and Scottish Parliamentary Inquiries into the future of farming support in the hills and islands.

The report concludes by discussing the possible benefits of the new CAP reform proposals for hill beef and sheep producers. It argues the case for the current period of improved returns to be used to review and adjust farming systems to make them more robust and less sensitive to fluctuating input and output markets, further CAP reforms, climate change, exchange rate movements and regulations in the future.

Download the Report

Response from the Hills

See also the 2008 Report

Retreat from the Hills

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